Durability …

I have a buddy who lives in Queensland. We had taken a little time off our regular careers to study something totally unrelated and met at Charles Sturt University. Roy and I have a lot in common including a passion for birds and live music. It was not in the least surprising that we enjoyed a yarn and a beer.

When I signed up to the cycling app Strava up popped Roy’s visage and we have followed and encouraged each other since. Roy has clocked up more than 35,000 km since he started using the app. I am most impressed.

It got me thinking about the sort of distance Grand Tour professionals accumulate over their careers. Or what about a single big year?

When Strava got started the bench mark to aim at belonged to Tommy Godwin a native of Stoke on Trent, UK and a professional cyclist. Back in 1939 he rode a staggering 120,805 km (75,065 miles) in a year. Since 100,000 miles was a good round number and not far off he carried on to nail that landmark in 500 days!

The record stood until 2016 when the American Kurt Searvogel edged him out with 122,432 km (76,076 miles). The Ultramarathon Cycling Association logged his efforts on its website and vouched for his achievement to the satisfaction of the Guiness Book of World Records. His Strava trophy case is stacked with badges although it seems that he is not currently active.

Nor is his record. That was eclipsed by another American, Amanda Coker, the very next year. She blew it away with 139,326 km (86,573 miles) about 382 km a day. By then she was in the groove so she took the opportunity to knock off Tommy’s 100,000 mile record in just 423 days.

Bird watchers like to go for a big year so what about a cycling big year? I think there is a great opportunity there for you Roy.